Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 15, 2024

News

The Setonian
News

ASL classes may be counted toward required studies

A committee of students, professors and administrators has voted to send a proposal to the Arts and Sciences faculty recommending that American Sign Language (ASL) classes be permitted to fulfill part one of the undergraduate language requirement.


The Setonian
News

Beyond the call of duty: Telefund employee raises record $545,000 over four-year career

While most students opt to secure on-campus jobs behind the sandwich counter of Hodgdon, beyond the kitchen doors of Dewick or amidst a sea of filing cabinets in Dowling, a select few choose to work in the depths of Eaton at the Tufts Telefund calling center, where employees blast out calls to associates of Tufts in hopes of raising money for the university.


The Setonian
News

Declining financial resources make for difficult decisions in U.S. higher education

    The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE) released its annual Measuring Up report yesterday, which examines the strength and progress the U.S. system of higher education relative to the systems of thirty democratic countries across the world. Using indicators including overall enrollment and the percentage of young adults holding associates degrees or higher, the study concluded that the United States has slipped in overall competitiveness with international systems.     "Despite our historical successes in higher education, the preeminence of many of our colleges and universities and some examples of improvement in this decade, our higher education performance is not commensurate with the current needs of our society and our economy," said James B. Hunt, Jr., the chairman of the NCPPHE's Board of Directors, in a statement released alongside the report.     The findings of the report are a sobering addition to the host of worries about the U.S. higher education system, including its high costs and disparities in access. As the economy continues to behave unpredictably and schools both private and public face declining resources, one state university system is showing signs of the kind of strain that may weaken the ability of individual systems to close the gaps indicated by the report.     Two weeks ago, the University of California system announced that it would be cutting enrollment by 10,000 students in light of budgetary problems. A press release accompanying the announcement explained that a recent $66 million dollar mid-year funding cut, coming after a $33 million dollar cut over the summer, had forced the system to impose an enrollment cap of 343,000 students for the fall 2009 semester.     Associate professor of economics David Garman, whose field of expertise is the economics of higher education, explained that this action is rooted in a simple problem that all colleges face.     "Tuition does not cover expenses, and so colleges lose money if it is not made up somehow," Garman said. "For state colleges and universities, that money has to be made up by subsidies from the state."     Garman said that the University of California system's announcement is a final and extreme step after a long series of budget cuts.     "Over the past 20 years, most states have cut subsidies to colleges and universities. There's not a lot of slack in adjusting to new budgets," said Garman, indicating that the cuts are not a direct response to any single cut or circumstance, like the current economic crises.     Given declining resources, the system faced a tradeoff between education quantity and quality.     "At some point, the administration has to draw a line in the sand and say that if we keep accepting students without adequate resources, we're going to be doing a poor job of educating all of our students," Garman said.     Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin is concerned that systems like that of California could be entering an unfortunate cycle.     "Many families will explore state universities as a more affordable option during the down economy, but those options may become more limited as a result of the same economic conditions," he said.     Garman said that schools have several options when responding to budget cuts, including increasing class sizes, cutting learning resources and degrading the quality of students' education. "At some point, they have to ask if they are delivering what they've promised to deliver."     Garman believes that the enrollment cut is a short-term response to a political problem.     "I think the administration [that] considered this and the president who proposed it are trying to take a political stand in defense of higher education," he said.     According to Garman, though, the reality of the system's decision is that it may have sacrificed enrollment while keeping other programs, like athletics and graduate studies, afloat. "[Athletics and graduate studies] are all big, expensive programs, and I'd like to see more debate and discussion about what academic priorities are."     Garman said that while any state facing cuts in education budgets may find itself having to take steps similar to those taken in California, private colleges face a different set of financial issues.     "Private schools that rely heavily on endowments are going to experience a drop in revenues," Garman said. "But since private schools have experienced growing endowments over the past 10 years, they're not as starved as public colleges and universities are. It's possible that they can ride this out."     Coffin said that Tufts will not be forced to change enrollment for the 2009-2010 academic year.     "As usual, we are planning to enroll a freshman class of 1,275 to 1,300, as well as 50 transfer students, for the fall of 2009," he said, adding that the number of transfer students will be adjusted according to the number of returning upperclassmen.     Garman said that the fact that Tufts' budget is based largely on tuition funds, which will not fluctuate as endowments or state budgets have, will lend some stability to Tufts as it navigates the financial crisis.     While enrollment at Tufts will remain stable, Garman says that declining resources, both as a result of the recent economic crisis and of the long term public funding decline, will force all colleges and universities to take a hard look at the best use of their resources.     "This is a critical juncture for colleges and universities to examine their priorities," he said.


The Setonian
News

Community unites to voice support for Mumbai victims

         Teachers, students and administrators gathered on the Tisch Library patio yesterday to remember the nearly 200 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, last week.     The South Asian Political Action Committee (SAPAC) organized the noontime gathering, which attracted about 100 people at its height.     "By now, I'm sure that you have all heard of all of the stories of sadness and hope that these attacks have brought," said SAPAC Co-Chair Faris Islam, a sophomore, in opening the hour-long rally.     Islam encouraged those in attendance to write messages of support in a solidarity scrapbook that will be sent to the Indian Embassy in New York.     In her remarks, History Professor Ayesha Jalal discouraged students from succumbing to the widespread fear such violence can trigger.     "The events in Mumbai have left a staggering effect on our psyches, on the region and on the world at large," said Jalal, the director of Tufts' Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies. "We are all caught in this wave of terror, and the people of Mumbai have been the most recent victims."     In this spirit, Jalal said that people and governments must remain open to dialogue with one another.     "Terror seeks to close debate, and we need to open debate," she said. "If we lose sight of that, then we help the terrorists succeed."     Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, the executive director of Tufts Hillel, agreed with Jalal. He urged attendees to remain unified in condemning the assailants.     "The effect of the violence in Mumbai against citizens, foreigners and the Chabad Center are devastating in their randomness and specificness," Summit said. "The sooner that we learn that coming together is the force that will keep terrorism from succeeding — that's when we can begin to set aside this senseless, senseless violence." Summit closed his remarks by reading a prayer about bombings by an Israeli author.     Institute for Global Leadership Director Sherman Teichman called on students to be vigilant and open-minded in formulating the proper response to the attacks.     "The response that is necessary today is a common humanity, an incessant militancy to not yield to this kind of attack," Teichman said. "It is now time to heal, but we have to be provocative in our thinking — how to find causality, how to find a measure of response, how to deny this on every level.     "We need to prevent the instinctual recourse to vengeance and violence," he continued. "We need to link our hearts and heads into a common humanity, and recognize that this is a common problem. Terror aims too close; it is the most claustrophobic thing I know."     A moment of shared silence followed Teichman's speech. Assistant History Professor Kris Manjapra then urged students to think about their obligations in light of the attacks.     "Right now we have to mourn, and I really feel that when we are finished mourning, we also have to think about what our calling is in this time," he said. "We are called to do something in this time."     The Chabad House's Chanie Tzvi talked about the terrorist attack on a Chabad House in Mumbai, which killed Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka.     "The Chabad House in Mumbai is a place where one is welcome with unconditional love and respect, but was made into a direct target," Tzvi said. "The tears flow, the emotions are raw and the pain is deep, but we must not let the pain consume us."     Sophomore Radhika Saraf spoke about her experience as a resident of Mumbai with direct connections to the victims.     "It hit our families, it hit our friends and it hit every person in the city," Saraf said. "These terrorists came into our cities and just opened fire."     Sophomore and SAPAC member Ashish Malhotra was heartened by the high turnout and what it demonstrates about sympathy on campus for the victims of the attacks.     "I thought that it went really well," he told the Daily. "It was nice to see that a lot of people showed up to show their solidarity, which is exactly what SAPAC was hoping for."



The Setonian
News

Ally Gimbel | When kiwis fly

Someone once said, "All good things come to an end." This couldn't ring more true for those of us studying abroad.



The Setonian
News

Life without Facebook: Is it possible?

Once upon a time, people without cell phones were considered the social pariahs of the technological age. Now it's those without Facebook.com accounts who may be deemed modern-day rebels. With over 120 million active users, the popular social-networking site has attracted people with varying interests.





The Setonian
News

CSL reaches decision on three amendments

The Committee on Student Life (CSL) on Nov. 21 approved the language of three amendments to the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Constitution but simultaneously called for a new vote on the proposals. TCU President Duncan Pickard, one of three students who originally submitted the amendments, subsequently withdrew them and intends to put them to a vote in the spring.


The Setonian
News

Faculty commutes range from short to jumbo

Tufts may not be considered a "commuter school" in the typical sense, but for the faculty -- some of whom live as far away as New York City -- getting to Tufts everyday is often more complicated than just getting in a car.



The Setonian
News

Michael Goetzman | Spotlight

A year and a half has passed since Alec Ernest set foot on campus, and in that time, we've seen him go from the cloyingly boisterous, big-haired and belligerent freshman to the slightly more subdued sophomore who, shedding his dark locks, also seemed to shed a bit of his rambunctiousness.




The Setonian
News

Bacow talks to Senate about Tufts' finances

University President Lawrence Bacow presented a dire but hopeful assessment of the university's economic situation in a talk to the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate on Sunday.


The Setonian
News

Jessie Borkan | College Is As College Does

Ah, Thanksgiving. The ultimate family holiday, bringing you, your parents and, if your family is anything like mine, 57 of your extended relatives together since 1621. I spent my first 18 Thanksgivings road-tripping to Philadelphia in order to accommodate my dad's North by Northeast fam and became quite accustomed to Borkan family traditions: Grandma overdoes the turkey, Uncle Eric overdoes the wine, my dad nurses a beer he secretly hates the taste of while he feigns interest in a football game he couldn't care less about, and my sisters regress severely in order to find playmates in our much younger cousins.